It is daunting how we often foolishly trade the joy and inheritance we have with God for immediate and momentary gratification. It is an issue that greatly affects today’s society and the modern church.
I have travelled quite a bit and lived overseas for extended periods of time and it’s heart breaking how much of an issue this is. It feels as if we don’t realise how big an impact the mindset of modern society impacts everything that we do. We are constantly faced with choices and temptations daily and the majority of the time we think nothing of them. We thus compromise everything for a moment of immediate gratification.
It is an issue that is rapidly growing and consuming Christians of this generation and the generations rising up behind us. Once upon a time people had to wait and be patient, but today with everything so easily accessible via the internet and mass consumerism, waiting and patience are no longer necessary. In an instant, we can trade that joy and inheritance of God, for momentary pleasure that we can access without a second thought.
Is immediate satisfaction, really worth giving up the joy and abundant life we have with the Lord?
I have often skimmed through the tale of Esau but it is only recently that something profound struck me. This discovery lies in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 16 (English Standard Version).
“No one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birth right for a single meal.”
Esau sold his birth right for a single meal, he gave up his inheritance, everything that would be his and that was his, for a brief pleasure of the flesh. That’s where it hit me: how often do we so willingly sell our birth right for ‘a single meal.’
Our birthright is something extraordinary, and our inheritance even more so. When we are born again and enter our Father’s kingdom we become co-heirs with Christ. Romans Chapter 8 verse 17 (English Standard Version) says
“and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Our inheritance is everything that comes with that. Authority, dominion, being seated above the heavenly beings and suffering.
This is something so extraordinary, and yet sometimes we so carelessly place it down or give it up for something that will only provide momentary satisfaction. But God is good and forgiving, if we lay down and enter true repentance.
After we willingly sin, we are often overcome with such grief and shame. This is because that momentary satisfaction we gave up our birth right for, fades away. There have been moments where I have done this and it is a horrible feeling, when I realise what I have just done. We live in a society, where instant satisfaction has become part of the norm. It is a horrendous trap that we often blindly fall into, sometimes willingly. That is where being on guard, discerning and renewing our mind to the ways of God, comes in. Romans chapter 12 verse 2 (English Standard Version) sums this up perfectly.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It is finished
It is finished, the last words of Christ Jesus, the victory over the enemy. It is only recently that these words have rung true both in my mind and in my heart. The power of those words echoes through eternity, and through every situation. All we need to do is heed to them and carry them. Whenever that time comes, or we desire to sell our birth right for a single meal, we must ask God to remind us of these words. In them is the freedom to turn away and say ‘no, this is my birth right and I refuse to ever lay it down again.’
With this, it is important we again learn how to be content in all things. Growing in patience and discipline. Remembering that waiting is an amazing thing, and that God uses it to grow and prepare us for what we are not yet ready for. Everything we need to understand about this, is summed up in Philippians chapter 4 verses 11-13 (English Standard Version).
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Ashley lives in Brisbane, Australia. He is currently, studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and newly married. During his free time Ashley can be found, reading an old book or collecting new ones.
Ashley Menelaw’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ashley-menelaws.html